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Year of the Dog

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Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week

Year of the Dog

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I like movies that are a little off the beaten track. This weeks film, written and directed by Mike White and starring Molly Shannon makes a path all it’s own.


Year of the Dog
is a film, which avoids casual attachment to any specific genre. Some might call it a slice of life film, but because of its unusual perspective and unique attitudes I don’t think it really fits there. It has comedy, especially from Josh Pais, John C. Reilly and Regina King, but also displays themes of isolation and independence. Simple in it’s approach, but complex in personal interactions, Year of the Dog can leave you thinking long after the film is over. Some the ironies are obvious as you watch Laura Dern and Thomas McCarthy revel in their self-absorption, or Peter Sarsgaard drape himself in righteousness. Other notions will only occur to you later, when life’s little idiosyncrasies remind you of the main characters troubles in this film.

Mike White has a good reputation for noticing life’s imbalances and bringing them into his writing. Now we learn that he can also get the nuances down on screen through excellent casting and good direction. Year of the Dog isn’t a big blockbuster, don’t pick it up expecting action or adventure, but if you like quirky little films, like I do, give it a try.


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